Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Where Are You At Today With Your Art?

I've been working with digital files now for weeks.  Renaming, resizing, rescanning if necessary, etc.  It's really interesting to re-visit what I used to do years ago compared to the direction I've taken the last few years.  And what's even more amazing is my attitude change.

When I first started out back in the late 1900s, I was all about full size paintings to hang on the wall. Trying to learn and follow all the rules and guidelines about composition, trying to understand proper perspective, etc.  And in the beginning I leaned towards trying for realism, especially with flowers.

I sit and think about the stress I put myself under trying to get everything perfect or as perfect as it was possible for me.  If the results turned out to my liking (which I seldom felt), I would feel good about it.  Unfortunately because I was striving for perfection, I didn't enjoy the process.  All those rules!  Trying to please everyone else!  Trying to please my inner critic.  I actually went for over a year not wanting or being able to do anything.  It just wasn't worth how I felt tediously painting trying to obtain perfection.

I don't draw or paint to sell.  I have no desire to enter into competitions.  All those frame sized paintings that I didn't give away as gifts sit in a box seldom ever looked at.  I'm not big on hanging a lot of stuff on walls either.  So............. what was the point if I didn't actually enjoy the process?

Then I came across Cathy Johnson's Artist's Journal Workshop group in Facebook, purchased her book on the subject and took a few of her online classes or DVD courses.  That was the fork in the road for me that I chose to take with my artwork.

Keeping journals has definitely been a positive change for me.  I don't worry about the results (or at least I'm doing better keeping that inner critic quiet........lol) and I feel free to play and experiment.  I love working with individual illustrations of subjects or vignettes rather than full compositions so journaling just seems to fit.  Most important............I'm enjoying the journey or the process.  Of course if the results turn out to my liking, that's just icing on the cake.

My journals are not only my canvas but are my means of display as well.  I love flipping through these books to see what I did along with reading my notes I might add.  My family (especially the grand-kids) love going through these journals and reading these notes often inspiring questions and discussions.  For me this is what it's all about :-)

Just to share a bit of my past, I've created these digital collages of many of my past paintings.  Yeah, it's a bit different from what I do today ......don't you think???          LOL


SusanA said...

Different...but still beautiful. Two years ago, I enrolled in an online sketchbook journaling course. I enjoyed it, but I wanted to explore a few of the techniques in more depth, so I added a couple regular painting and drawing courses. It wasn't long before I felt that same striving for perfection you talk about in your post. I'm glad to have some new skills to take back to my journals, but the danger for me is taking my inner critic back there with me. I understand what you mean about trying to keep the IC quiet so you can play, experiment, and enjoy the journey as you create in your journals. It isn't easy.

Susan Bronsak said...

Hope you continue keeping your IC quiet and enjoy the journey. It's OK to not be perfect (as I keep having to remind myself........LOL)

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